Let us once again venture forth to Monster Island and see what our creative monster artisans have wrought for our deadly amusement. Will you choose to join the ranks of the monster artisans and set your monster creation against those of others? If so, read on for contest rules!
Last week, I introduced some new concepts for bar brawlers to liven up your next dustup. I said I’d present all three if I got enough comments, and you folks delivered. It’s time to pay up! Join me after the jump for your brawler crunch.
Last time we went crusty with the old guy/creature that would kick your butt based on defensive abilities. I was satisfied with this until a commenter pointed out he was hoping to see an old guy that punches you in just the right spot to crumple you. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted that character to come to life.
I thought about doing another age-before-beauty-based template to reflect that, but a little voice in my head told me that wasn’t the answer. I came to realize my crusty template was about more than my stern belief that you never want to arm wrestle with an old guy—it was about a favorite trope of mine that has fallen out of favor at my table: the bar fight.
Aside from the fact that few characters have optimized or are super familiar with unarmed combat, there’s the lack of excitement in the bar fight because it can be hard to challenge PCs in a combat when it’s usually just a bunch of expert types in a bar. In an effort to change that, I’m going to share some concepts for bar fighters you might want to see. The crunch comes with the comments, so join me after the jump for some exciting bar fighters.
In Pathfinder, aging is addressed in game mechanics by a slow degradation of the physical attributes and an equally slow gain in mental attributes. I agree that for perhaps the majority of stories this makes perfect sense, but then I think of some of my favorite characters that are older and how they seem to overcome age and defy this. Marv from Sin City, Bruenar Battlehammer from R.A. Salvatore’s work, Flint Fireforge from Dragonlance, and pretty much every veteran sailor from any ship-based fiction.
Then there’s Randy Couture vs. Tim Silva. If you know MMA, you know my point. If not, allow me to paint you a picture. Tim Silva was the UFC heavyweight champ, 30 years old, 6-ft. 9-in., and pretty much on paper the heavy favorite. Randy Couture was 43, had retired and come back, was under 6-ft. and weighed about 80 lbs. less than Tim Silva when they fought. Randy nearly ended the fight in the first minute with a hard right. For five rounds, the smaller, lighter, older man bullied and dominated the larger younger man with a 10-in. reach advantage.
Folklore monsters tend to be long-lived creatures that gain something with time. Join me after the jump for a template that honors a counterintuitive literary tradition: Sometimes the most dangerous man in the bar isn’t the huge muscled guy—it’s the old crusty sailor with the tattoos.
With their punishing climate and near-total lack of precious water, deserts are one of the most hostile environments in existence. Those who spend enough time among the desert sands know that some monsters can thrive even in these hellish wastes. Such creatures are feared and respected by wise adventurers, for they are invariably predatory and deadly—a consequence of evolving in a place where the most reliable source of life-giving water is a fresh corpse.
The Savage Sands
Sandstorms are some of the most dangerous weather phenomena desert expeditions can encounter. Severe sandstorms can flay unsheltered travelers alive, and even minor storms can halt an expedition’s progress for days, stranding its members in a hostile environment.
One type of sandstorm, called the savage sands, is particularly feared by desert travelers. According to legend, it’s an intelligent sandstorm that preys on desert expeditions, enveloping their campsites and leaving not even its victims’ bones behind.